Charles Pic storms to pole position in Abu Dhabi Fast in Free Practice earlier today in Abu Dhabi, Arden’s Charles Pic gave his absolute best during qualifying and fended off Davide Valsecchi’s attacks to claim a maiden pole position on his second GP2 race weekend. iSport’s and rookie Oliver Turvey will start next to him on tomorrow’s grid.
On a still dirty track, GP2 Asia Series’ leader Valsecchi was rapidly on top of the timesheet and was looking to repeat his performance from last round at that same track. Although quickest earlier during Free Practice, Luca Filippi’s hopes to shine again in qualifying were ruined after thirteen minutes following a technical gremlin on his Meritus car.
As the track improved, so did the lap times and Pic was on a mission. He claimed the top spot with nine minutes left on the clock, 0.3s faster than Valsecchi. But the Italian would not let the Frenchman get away with it and thus started one of the most disputed pole positions in the history of the Asia Series, each man bettering the lap time of the other lap after lap. Sam Bird at ART tried to join the battle, moving up to P3 but was soon denied the spot by GP2 returnee Javier Villa.
In the very last minute of the session, rookie Jules Bianchi improved all sectors and placed his ART car in third place. As the checkered flag fell, Valsecchi ran a bit too wide in the last corner leaving Pic with the satisfaction of snatching his first pole position. But the session was not over for one man: quickest in sector 3 on his last attempt, Turvey denied his teammate of tomorrow’s front row which thus will be made of exclusively of newcomers.
Behind the Top three, Bianchi finished a strong fourth ahead of another rookie Alexander Rossi at Meritus. The feature race will start tomorrow at 6:00pm local time.
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